Living the high life: Shanghai

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During the 1920s and 1930s Shanghai became known as “The Paris of the East, the New York of the West”.[18]Shanghai was made a special city in 1927. From 1930 the city’s industrial and financial power  mushroomed. Transitioning from the old Shanghai which is almost non existent now, initial architectural style was modeled on British and American design.

This is what the modern day  Shanghai skyline looks like :

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I visited Shanghai in 2010 shortly after the end of their 2010 Expo and the picture below is among the first that I took.

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I stayed at the beautiful Pudong Shangri-la Hotel. As a Business Tourist, it’s great to have a comfortable stay as depicted in the great room I had – well set up both for comfort, relaxation and working.083_1024

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The view from my window looked out on the Yangtze river and everyday was a reminder that I was at the centre of an economic hub and “high” density living.Here are some views from my room:

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Of course it was great that there was a shopping mall just across the road from the hotel and yes, I spent much of my available time there. Shanghai carries all the famous international brands (many being manufactured here) but I also found brands that I was unfamiliar with and to this day, some of these remain my most prized possessions.

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One of my favourite purchases was a beautiful Chinese tea set. This started a whole new practice of collecting a range of fragrant herbal teas some of which open up as flowers. I have found a that it is an almost spiritual experience to sip tea brewed in pretty cast iron tea pots and I have select friends that understand that spiritual experience of enjoying good conversation while inhaling the fragrance  and sipping from those beautiful little cups of tea.

I am in fact reminded of this quote:drink-your-tea-slowly

Shanghai has no shortage of really tall buildings each competing to be taller than the other:

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I was lucky enough to attend a special dinner on the 89th floor of the building below. We were served a 20 course meal ( small portions of delicacies though I had no idea what I was eating) There was a floor above us where a party was in full swing and of course I found my way there (by accident haha!)

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I recall as we left the building late that night ( a Thursday night) – watching disco lights flashing from the top floor of another dizzingly tall building and wondering how those people managed to party so late on a weekday.

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On a walk to the Yangtze river on a Saturday afternoon, I remember watching an old lady painstakingly sweeping up dirt off the streets and the picture above illustrates how clean the city is despite the density. One drawback of such density and economic activity is the pollution. It took a number of days for me to get clearer pictures. Still I enjoyed my stay and would happily return.

Thank you for reading and join me in Hong Kong next week.

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17 thoughts on “Living the high life: Shanghai

  1. While I appreciate the beauty and architecture of cities, I am just not a city girl. Need my daily dose of grass and trees 🙂 Loved the story about the tea set. Cast iron seemed an odd material at first, but then I realized it retains heat for a long time. I’m a fan of Earl Grey and Indian Chai mostly, but will try any kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with you Joan, I couldn’t live with such high density and though these buildings are a modern day work of art and technology, I still prefer older architecture.

      The tea set I described has those small chinese teacups and its own teapot. But we have this really cool chain of stores called the “Tea experience” where they sell these cute cast iron (almost mini kettles) We have collections of Mint tea, Almond tea,Chamomile, fruity ones like strawberries and cream and many more. We sometimes mix and match them for aroma but many also have calming or revitalising effects. This is the whole tea experience – a form of communion with tea,the company you are with and the conversation. So it’s a bit different from the Earl Greys etc. I like to see it almost as a spiritual experience if that makes sense. But it is also about savouring the moment as the quote says.😀

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    1. I was only there for a week but it took about 3 days to get clearer pictures. I was looking for the old Shanghai and could not find much of it hence I posted pictures of what it looked like. I guess this is the architecture of the future and it is testimony to people’s ingenuity to design such buildings. I found it interesting how everyone competed to go higher by adding some appendage at the top. China seems to have most of the tip ten tallest buildings in the world. I don’t think you’d want to have a power outage though😀

      I love the skyline it creates . While I think the idea is about coping with urbanisation and efficient service delivery – I think I still prefer an escape to nature.

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        1. Oh I’ve loved visiting these cities and still look forward to doing more travelling but I love coming back to the wide open countryside, the oceans, forests and mountains of home.
          There is convenience to living in a big city which I love but I enjoy also enjoy my space😀 Have a great Sunday Susan!

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  2. The minute you mentioned drinking tea and how that could be a spiritual experience I immediately thought about an Oprah interview with Thich Nhat Hanh and then I scrolled down and what do my eyes espy? LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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